Description from Flora of China
Mussaenda bodinieri H. Léveillé & Vaniot; M. pubescens var. alba X. F. Deng & D. X. Zhang; M. pubescens f. clematidiflora Chun ex H. H. Hsue & H. Wu.
Climbing shrubs, often extensively twining; branches terete, densely strigillose and sometimes also villosulous, sometimes with congested groups of leaves borne on reduced axillary buds. Leaves opposite or perhaps rarely whorled; petiole 3-8 mm, moderately to densely strigillose; blade drying membranous or thinly papery, ovate-oblong, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic, lanceolate, or oblanceolate, 2-9 × 1-4 cm, adaxially sparsely strigillose to glabrescent on lamina and moderately to densely strigillose on veins, abaxially sparsely to densely strigillose with pubescence denser on veins, base acute to obtuse, apex acute to slightly acuminate; secondary veins 4-7 pairs, tertiary venation reticulate; stipules usually deciduous, triangular, 3-7 mm, moderately to densely strigillose, deeply 2-lobed, lobes narrowly triangular to subulate. Inflorescences terminal, subcapitate to congested-cymose, unbranched or sometimes tripartite, 1-3 × 1-3 cm, densely strigillose to villosulous, sessile to pedunculate; peduncles 0.1-1.4 cm; bracts linear, 3-5 mm; pedicels to 1 mm. Flowers sessile or infrequently pedicellate, biology not noted. Calyx moderately to densely strigillose to strigose; hypanthium portion ellipsoid to turbinate, 1.5-3 mm; lobes linear to narrowly triangular, 3-6 mm, with 1(or 5) lobes on 1-3 flowers per inflorescence of some plants expanded into white calycophyll, blade elliptic, broadly elliptic, ovate, or lanceolate, (0.4-)2.5-5 × (0.2-)2-3.5 cm, sparsely to moderately puberulent or strigillose on both surfaces, base acute to rounded, stipe 3-28 mm, apex obtuse to acute. Corolla white or yellow, salverform, outside moderately to densely strigillose or strigose; tube 11-20 mm, densely clavate pubescent in throat; lobes oblong-lanceolate to lanceolate, 2.5-4 mm, adaxially densely golden yellow papillose, acuminate. Berry subglobose, 8-10 × 6-7.5 mm, sparsely strigillose to glabrescent, smooth or finely lenticellate, calyx limb caducous, sometimes stipitate with stipe to 5 mm. Fl. Apr-Jul, fr. Jun-Dec.
This species is widespread, common, and morphologically variable. H. H. Hsue and H. Wu (in FRPS 71(1): 296. 1999) described the leaf arrangement as opposite or whorled, but only opposite leaves have been seen on the numerous specimens studied.
One plant from Guangdong (Gaoyao) has all five of the calyx lobes petaloid and enlarged on each flower, though these structures are smaller than calycophylls that are borne singly on a flower. These plants have been separated as Mussaenda pubescens f. clematidiflora; this case was studied by Deng and Zhang (Acta Phytotax. Sin. 44: 611. 2006), who concluded that this plant is better regarded as developmentally abnormal and formally synonymized this name here. Plants with white corollas have been separated as M. pubescens var. alba; at least a third of the specimens of M. pubescens studied belong to this group, and considering that this color variation is common in other Rubiaceae species the variety is not recognized taxonomically here.
Thickets in ravines, on hill slopes, or at village margins or roadsides; below 100-900 m. Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Hunan, Jiangxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang [Vietnam].